2022 Acura RDX A-Spec Hews to Mainstream

Acura has rediscovered its performance side, starting with the NSX comeback and continuing to reintroduce the Integra and rebranding the Type S. However, I’ve seen the RDX mostly from the sidelines, despite being Acura’s bestseller. Combining all-wheel drive, a top-of-the-line advanced package and A-Spec sporty finishes, our test vehicle proved capable in all aspects, but it doesn’t quite reach what it is in the high-performance compact crossovers available from the German automakers.

The current RDX is now in its fourth year, having been restyled for 2019. The A-Spec is the sportier iteration, with black exterior trim, dark gray 20-inch wheels, and large, circular dual exhaust ports. Inside, it features two-tone red or white leather with black suede accents (or for totally boring black decor). Combine it with Apex Blue Pearl paint, as on our test car, for maximum visual impact in the supermarket parking lot.

Michael Cimaricar and driver

RDX riding and handling

The A-Spec design can be had with the mid-tier technology package or – new this year – with the advanced package. While the Advance’s high-level trim brings many subtle details including the head-up display, surround-view camera, heated front and rear seats, as well as a heated steering wheel, its main dynamic feature is the adaptive dampers, which are customized for this model. Our tester is well-equipped, and the newly retuned dampers provide a more bearable ride than the standard hard-legged setup. However, with the ability to switch to Sport mode, they maintain the RDX’s versatility in cornering. So does the available all-wheel drive system, which sends 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear and can funnel 100 percent of that total to either rear wheel. The chassis is responsive, and body roll isn’t much of an issue, even if the grip is 0.83g less than we measured in the Audi Q5 45 and Volvo XC60 B6.

The steering is fairly light and easy, but it holds together when the car is shifted to Sport mode. The problem with Sport mode, though, is that it effectively locks out the transmission’s upper gears, so you often find yourself waiting for overshifts that never come. Unfortunately, there is no dedicated mode for mixing and matching parameters to your liking.

HIGHS: Spacious cabin inside imprint tidy and attractive inside and out, not as expensive as German competitors.

Michael Cimaricar and driver

Quadruple turbo fuel economy and performance

The original RDX had a high-powered, turbocharged four-cylinder that was replaced by a naturally aspirated V-6 on the second-generation model. Today’s RDX once again has a turbocharged four-cylinder, although it’s not the heyday of that early engine. Compared to similarly configured competitors, its 272 hp is more than some (Audi, Infiniti), less than others (Alpha, Genesis). Same with 280 lb-ft of torque. Dubbed it the mid-package luxury compact SUV.

The Midpack could also describe Acura’s 6.2 seconds sprint to 60 mph, although it’s better than the 6.6 seconds we measured when this model debuted. That number puts the RDX well ahead of the Cadillac XT5 and Volvo XC60 B6 but behind the Audi Q5 45 (5.5 seconds) and Genesis GV70 2.5T (5.6) — not to mention powerful six-cylinder machines like the BMW X3 M40i and Mercedes-AMG GLC43. Stops from 70 mph took 180 feet, slightly more than competitors wearing similar all-season shoes.

Michael Cimaricar and driver

The RDX engine pairs with a 10-speed automatic. Ten forward speeds is plenty, and with gentle acceleration, the programming sometimes seems too concerned with giving every gear a turn, even though the shifts are smooth enough that most drivers probably won’t even notice. However, the transmission speed can be less fast. The Turbo Four’s engine sound was electronically improved, with opinions split on how satisfying the result was, which rang our internal sound meter with 73 decibels when the throttle was opened wide.

We saw 26 mpg in our 75-mph highway fuel economy test, which exactly matches the EPA’s estimate for the RDX with all-wheel drive and an A-Spec package. (Skiping the A-Spec package raises the EPA highway rating to 27 mpg, and front-wheel drive up 28 mpg.) EPA ratings for the RDX A-Spec come in at 23 mpg combined (21 city). /26 highway) are directly behind those of all-wheel-drive competitors such as the BMW X3’s 24 combined (21 city/28 highway), the Infiniti QX50’s 25 combined (22/28), and the Audi Q5 S line 25 combined (23/28).

Michael Cimaricar and driver

Interior space, information technology and entertainment

It stretches 187.4 inches in length and sits on a 108.3-inch wheelbase, which is a handy size without feeling bloated. Within this elegant footprint, the RDX is truly roomy. The front and rear can easily accommodate six feet, and the flat floor in the back makes three-position seating viable, at least for short trips. The RDX is located high enough for easy entry and exit, without wide door sills to cross. Luggage volume is 30 cubic feet, and can be increased to 80 cubic feet via convenient risers in the cargo area that drop the backs of the rear seats.

The interior is more contemporary tech than traditional luxury (only one of the six levels features wood trim), and the fit and finish are solid. To suit a member of the audience he works with, the RDX comes standard with a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, and adaptive cruise control. Although the RDX is in its fourth year, Acura hasn’t let the in-house technology outdated, as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now available alongside wireless charging. However, the main user interface of the 10.2-inch central screen remains the touchpad. Unlike the system that Lexus is starting to move away from, it does not use the indicator; Instead, the geography of the touchpad matches that of the screen, and the surface of the pad is curved to provide a sense of where your finger is just by feeling. Touch the lower-right corner of the panel, and tap the button in the lower-right part of the screen—usually. The board also allows for letters and numbers to be drawn, eg for a navigation destination, but the spelling process is slow and full of errors. It is better to use voice recognition for the input. There is a second, smaller panel alongside the main panel that allows swipe gestures to control the right side of the split screen. We’re happy with the volume switch, at least, and the volume up/down adjustment buttons, although the adjustment knob would be better.

Michael Cimaricar and driver

LOWS: Annoying infotainment touchpad, big rear blind spots, not as sporty as German competitors.

We also like how the surround view camera shows two views at once, but it would be more useful if there was a button to call it up. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard items, and both are welcome additions given the RDX’s large rear quarter blind spots.

With a starting price of $41.795, the RDX comes in several thousand dollars less than its European competitors. The tested number for our A-Spec Advance model, $54,295, puts it in the thick of things with respect to the rest of the field. But that’s close to how much you can spend on an RDX (only the hand-assembled PMC version is more expensive at $55,295). Shop elsewhere and in most cases higher levels will cost you more. So, while Acura tends to perform, the value remains the power of the RDX, even in its sportiest of tunes.


2022 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-Spec Advance
Vehicle type: Front-wheel drive, 4WD, 5-passenger, 4-door

Basic / As tested: $53,795 / $54,295
Options: Apex Blue Pearl Paint, $500

Turbocharged and intercooler DOHC 16 valves inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 inches31996 cm3
Power: 272 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm

10 speed automatic

Suspension, F / R: strut / multi-link
Brakes, F/R: 12.4-inch grooved disc / 12.2-inch disc
Tyres: Goodyear Eagle RS-A
255/45R-20101V M+S.

Wheelbase: 108.3 in
Length: 187.4 inches
Width: 74.8 inches
Height: 65.7 inches
Passenger size: 104 feet3
Payload size: 30 feet3
Empty vehicle weight: 4057 lbs

grandfather Test results
60 mph: 6.2 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.9 seconds @ 94 mph
100 mph: 16.9 seconds
The results above delete 1 foot from subtracting 0.3 seconds.
Rolling start, 5 to 60 mph: 6.9 seconds
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.8 seconds
Top Gear, 50-70 mph: 5.1 seconds
Top Speed ​​(Government Limited): 112 mph
Braking, 0-70 mph: 180 feet
Road, 300 feet Skidpad: 0.83g

grandfather fuel economy
Observed: 24 mpg
75 MPH highway driving: 26 MPG
75 mph highway range: 440 miles

EPA fuel economy
Pool/city/highway: 23/21/26 mpg

grandfather Explanation of the test

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